The ongoing COVID-19 crisis necessitates a fast transformation of the global economy in order to build resilience against unprecedented challenges humankind faces today. With media & entertainment, edutainment and datertainment set to play a critical role in the new world, Blockchain, one of the frontier technologies embraced by India, will be the key to a decentralized and more transparent future of the world says Alexander Shulgin
Alexander Shulgin is a visionary, investor, composer, entrepreneur, futurist, and a Blockchain specialist, who has 20 years of investment and venture capital experience. He is a unique Russian composer who successfully combines creative work with business. He effectively manages GRUPPA KOMPANIY FAMILIA (www.familia.ru), which specializes in investment and venture capital in Blockchain, media, new media, publishing, and entertainment sectors (BitFury, Minery.io, dotBlockchainMedia, Clickky, Ticketland, AviaSales, QIWI post, SeoPult Group, Garpun, MFM Solution and others.) His personal investments are in sectors: Blockchain infrastructure, e-Sport, and Mixed Reality.
Alexander was for last five years a Member of Expert Council under the Prime Minister of Russian Federation (areas of responsibility are IT and digital economy). In an exclusive interview with Pickle , he provides deep and useful insights into how Blockchain will be a critical technology to reset the old form of global economy, and transform the way media and entertainment is consumed in a post-COVID-19 world. Excerpts…
How are you spending your time during Corona pandemic?
In this context, I recollect a verse from the Bible: “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together.” I used to travel around the world 330 of the 365 days in a year for my business, but the Corona pandemic in the last five months provided me a much needed break – time for me to reset.
I have been utilizing this time to reflect on new technologies. I have been thinking about the big crisis we would face beginning next February that would last for a few years and would necessitate the global great reset. We have to be strong and build resilience to face it. I have also been contemplating about the emerging new future of mankind. Because technology will change the way a person consumes media and multimedia. This will be the big future of video.
Media and information is set to become a part of the post industrial society. Entertainment, media, edutainment, and ‘datertainment’ will play an important role in the life of mankind. The new economy will switch from hardware to software, driven mainly by entertainment and lifestyle technologies. The media in multimedia entertainment will be in holograms. This will be a new form of entertainment. E-sport with holograms, e-sport with real sport and holograms, etc, will give birth to a new form of media, content, spectaculars and audience.
We will soon have a new generation of people and the creative productions will have to embrace this generation of decentralized natives, which may be called ‘Generation A01’. They will be completely different from the people of ‘Generation X’, ‘Generation Y’ and ‘Generation Z’ which are older generations now. Millennials formed the last generation of the old cycle of generations.
It will be difficult to explain the new generation as to why people use vinyl records or VHS tapes. It will also be difficult to explain them why there is a Senator or a Governor. They will not understand because they were updated from birth like new updated mobile applications . So it is very crucial for us to think about them.
India has endorsed Blockchain among other frontier technologies like 5G, Big Data, IoT…What are your thoughts on this?
I think there is a great opportunity for India. In the next three to four years, India will be among the world’s top three economies. India is innovating and adopting latest technologies. Indian Prime Minister has already mentioned few technologies like 5G, Big Data, Blockchain as frontier technologies. I have great appreciation and respect for him. He’s a very wise guy. Unlike many naive global leaders, he understands that Blockchain technology is not only about crypto currency. Blockchain is not crypto currency. Blockchain is a technology. Bitcoin was invented as part of the Blockchain technology. You won’t find any mention of the term crypto currency in the white paper of Satoshi Nakamoto (who deployed the first Blockchain database).
Bitcoin is electronic cash. But it is not similar to the cash that you can get in the market when someone buys a carpet or gold from you. It is an electronic asset. Bitcoin helps to identify your assets, stores and enables transactions quickly. It is not paper currency. Of course, many people tried to do business in the so called crypto currency. They traded on the exchange—buy, sell—and tried to make some crazier things. It is not related to the nature of this decentralized ledger technology.
Blockchain is a great technological opportunity to tap because our world is headed towards a reset. We need to reset capitalism, the old form of economy. We need to reset the old form of multi-agreements between governments and the people. Our society needs it. Russia is the country of greatest revolutions. Over 100 years ago, Lenin said that when revolution happens the people at the top don’t know what to do. And the people at the bottom don’t want to follow the people at the top who don’t know what to do. So, this is the time for revolution—the right time for
redistribution of capital. There’s so much gap between 26 people who control 51 percent of the global economy, and the millions of poor people who have nothing to eat. Blockchain has the potential to become a great balancer. It’s time to give a chance to decentralized economy which is only possible with the help of Blockchain technology. This asset can be of great value for media and entertainment industry or agriculture. It’s time to embrace this new technology.
How do you think India can benefit out of this and how do you visualize that India should move forward?
With Blockchain technology and decentralized processing, India would yield huge benefits in building Smart Cities and smart future. Media and data will spur a lot of SMEs to build Smart Cities, IoT, drones and industrial IoT.
By using data, India will be the producer of ‘new oil’. This will make India great again. I’m sure that in the decade beginning 2030, India will be ahead of China and will become number one economy of the world. The Indian middle class will be about 24 percent of the global middle class. Now it’s only four. So, it will be short but very productive.
India will become the world’s top economy because India’s huge population will create a lot of data and data is the new gold. India will need to generate a lot of energy to maintain that data. When I was in India for the first time in 2018, India’s energy consumption was equivalent to Argentina’s. However, by 2022, it will be equivalent to European Union’s consumption of electricity. So electricity will be the next equivalent of energy. Therefore India will need effective and low cost energy.
We will need new social pacts and agreements as well. Transparency will be necessary for the new pacts. There is trust deficiency among people. People see a lot of fake news, double standards, and so on. Many politicians say one thing and do another thing. Blockchain would help us build trust, Smart Cities, smart technologies and smart supply chains. It holds immense promise to improve life standards of people.
Fake news is one of the global menaces. Do you think Blockchain has a solution to contain fake news?
Of course yes, because in Blockchain everything is in written form that cannot be changed. In Blockchain you will be able to trace and find out who was the original person who spread the fake news. We can fight misinformation with Blockchain technology. News organizations can create Blockchain networks and track such news.
How do you think Blockchain is going to change the landscape for media and entertainment industry?
Blockchain is set to change everything. It will change how people access content; it will change industrial businesses and, of course, our lifestyle. Media and entertainment is one of the most important aspects of our lifestyle, which is already a two-trillion dollars industry. Blockchain will transform it dramatically. It will change the way the content is created and allow its decentralization. One will be able to create
content while streaming or accessing it. Blockchain is not going to be about distribution of content, rather it will be about accessing it.
Before the digital era arrived, there used to be a Mastertape, which could be used to create limited copies of cassettes, DVDs, CDs, etc. When the digital era came, the Mastertape disappeared because you could make unlimited copies of the same quality and distribute it. However, now distribution of unlimited copies of a film has become more and more expensive because you need to distribute the content in terms of Gigabytes and Terabytes.
Blockchain resolves this issue smartly. For instance, if a new series of ‘Games of Thrones’ is launched there will be only one copy of it which will be in the DotBC standard. This standard is comparable to standards like MPEG or MP3, but it allows unlimited access to smart content. So instead of distributing that one copy of ‘Games of Thrones’ to 100 million fans, Blockchain allows you to give them access to this content. It will significantly reduce the cost of distribution and help the creator monetize every view by the users.
For instance, if you have distributed the copy of the content there may be people who will watch it for just five minutes and don’t like it. But in this case you have already spent heavily on distributed Terabytes.
However, if you give access of the content to the people even if they don’t like it you will save lot of bytes. Also, the data used can immediately give you statistics. It is much like pay for what you watch.
Today, if you put your content on YouTube you”ll be paid by advertisers only if I you have more than, say, 10,000 views. If only 300 people watch the content, they don’t pay you. But the Blockchain will allow you to get paid for even one view that too immediately.
Why are people not able to understand Blockchain?
When you are flying in a plane, do you try to understand how it is flying and the parts it has. I know the rules of aerodynamics, but I still don’t understand the aeroplane. Many people don’t understand how electricity works, but understand its benefits. So you don’t have to understand how Blockchain works. Get to know the benefits.
Blockchain is like Internet. Internet doesn’t make money. What makes money is the applications. The global standards are being formulated. G20 countries are working on the standardization and expected in a year. For Internet, TCIP was chosen as a standard. Then, institutional money came. Similarly, it will be the same here. You will have platforms like IoS or Android. It is in these applications, people will make money.
Can you give certain examples to understanding the benefits of Blockchain when deployed?
Can you imagine famous musician like Taylor Swift, Beatles or any Bollywood singer, when a new single comes 300 million copies have to be distributed. There is so much traffic. Everyone has to own a copy. With Blockchain deployment, there is only one Master and instead of distribution, you will give access. So 300 million people will come to your capsule and they will have access, which smart contract will regulate. Access, territory, free, monetization, advertisement, barter — will be regulated by a smart contract in this capsule.
With this, the singer will be able to understand his/her audience. There are no middlemen. He will understand who likes chorus or who doesn’t. He can create special songs to his fans. The creator can also raise money directly from fans. If you want to make a new series or an album, you can ask 10 million fans to pay 10 cents. You get $1 million to start your work.
A decade ago, a creator would get 5 per cent royalty from music from DVDs. Sometimes, he may not get at all. Today, creator get majority share. In the next decade, the creator will get all.
Take cinema. The producer or the production company has no idea of who their customers and audiences are. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon will never give data to creators. They have centralized data. The content creator will never know who their audiences are. Blockchain is decentralization. This will change.
If you have data then you can barter it with other things. Blockchain will allow this to happen. Let’s say if I need fruit from India, you can give me fruit and I can give you my music. Money is something just to be equal to exchange.
If you are watching a new TV series or a film and you don’t like it, and you watched for five minutes. You just pay for those five minutes. You can also pay for just 30 seconds or three seconds. Now it’s not possible, but that’s the way forward. In Telecom, you pay for the number of call minutes or seconds.
You can co-create in real time, adaptive media will be adapt for your behavior. You will listen to the same song, but with different mixing. With holograms, you don’t need real actors, anymore. You can create a perfect actor, with no ego.
Will Blockchain kill piracy?
Yes of course, because now you will have one Mastertape. No one will have another copy.
How did you get into the world of Blockchain?
I am from music, media and entertainment industry. Blockchain started as a peer-to-peer project in 1999. The first peer-to-peer project was Kazaa. I know the founders of Kazaa and I tried to find more about this technology because I was very angry about piracy. But it was not piracy; it was a peer-to-peer sharing. Later, the US government shut down Kazaa.
Covid has brought lot of distress to the film industry, but if you look at it as an optimist, it has brought in a new set of opportunities for independent filmmakers By O P Srivastava
In Chinese, the word ‘Crisis’ is made of two strokes- one represents ‘Danger’ and the other represents ‘Opportunity’.
Covid has brought lot of distress to the film industry, but, if you look at it as an optimist, it has brought in a new set of opportunities also.
It has ushered in an era of OTT platform based streaming, which is not only cutting across a number of layers between the filmmakers and the ultimate audience, but also making independent filmmaking a viable business proposition in India. Till now in order to make a film In India, one was required to collect ‘a bagful’ of money and then raise another bagful to promote the film and then beg borrow or steal another one to release the film. And even after going through this long ordeal, a filmmaker could not be sure of ‘what cash flows’ were going to come back to his or her kitty. It is a well-known fact that whereas the big production houses and star-producers manage to multiply their investments in their films multi fold, the small producers, in ninety nine per cent of cases, end up losing their capital also. But, post March 2020, things started changing-thanks to Covid.
The prolonged lockdown has induced not only a change in our lifestyle but it has also dented a shift in the consumption behavior including the digital consumption.
The long struggling OTT platforms have suddenly taken off !
In the first quarter of 2020, Netflix added a staggering 15.8 million paid subscribers as the locked-down audience turned to OTT platforms in the absence of PVRs of the world. According to reports, Netflix’ global total has reached 189 million with audience binging on shows like Love and Blind and Money Heist and Indian web series like Delhi Crime, Jamtara, Made in Heaven, Mirzapur, Special OPS etc. Amazon Prime, Hot Star and ZEE5 have reportedly seen 65 per cent increase in their consumption pattern during March- June 2020 quarter.
One of the most impacted sectors due to the lockdown has been the entertainment industry. Not only the production activity has come to a grinding halt, the theatrical distribution companies like PVR have also suffered a serious blow (Share price down form Rs. 1815 on December 2, 2019 to Rs 1037 on July 17, 2020). So much so that an Amitabh Bachhan starrer like Gulabo Sitabo found it viable to release on a digital platform. To my mind, this trend is also a manifestation of a fundamental change happening in the ‘financial model of filmmaking’ in India. First of all, it indicates an increasing share of revenue from digital release of a film and a decreasing share of cash flows coming from the theatrical releases. The resultant combination of these two major cash flows increases the ‘certainty quotient’ in the total revenue stream of a film thereby enhancing the predictability and the stability of monetization in the filmmaking business. A more predictable or measurable revenue stream of a film is a good sign from an investor’s point of view. It helps the investors or a financier or a banker to look at investment in ‘filmmaking’ much more favorably. Besides, logically the stuff made for OTT platforms may not be as extravagant or as expensive as the high budget films made for the big screen. The success of the recently streamed popular films/episodic web series content like Patallok, Panchayat, Chintu Ka Birthday etc on OTT platforms largely driven by non-stars/ first timers is also an indication that for a film to be commercially successful on an OTT platform, it need not depend on the hugely expensive stars or sets thus bringing down the cost of the film and thereby increasing the Return on Investment ( ROI) on a film project. The success of Netflix Original or Amazon Original is, in a way, indicative of a new business model shaping up in the film industry. Add to this, the fact that in the post-Covid scenario, due to the enhanced pressure on timelines and productivity, ‘digitization’ in the filmmaking is bound to increase. We are looking at a ‘picture’, which may be more viable financially speaking.
Yoodlee model of filmmaking
Three years back, when Yoodlee films started making small budget films based on the stories of a new crop of writers, there were many, who would have scoffed at their misadventure in the market dominated by the big budget star-studded films. But three years down the line, the tide has taken a U-turn with the explosion of viewership on the OTT streaming platforms, where even big blockbusters are getting forced to seek a release instead of waiting for cinema halls to open. Yoodlee films, with 13 small budget successful films like Chaman Bahar, Axone, Ajji etc. has not only proven that successful films can be made without big stars, big sets, high tech VFX, big promotions and of course big budgets, they have also opened doors for a new wave of filmmaking in India. What are the basics of this new model? Here it goes.
Films are made with a focus on the audience in digital space only (essentially meaning that the films need not have the elements, which are required to pull the front benchers in cinema halls like the item songs etc. as an add- on in the film.)
Films are produced in a small budget (rumored to be between 1-2 Cr) under strictly monitored execution process. An independent auditor, who is given a pre-approved budget with day-by-day break up of the expenses, continuously audits all expenses during the entire schedule.
The choice of films is driven by the script and script only, having fresh perspective. All scriptwriters are reportedly paid on profit sharing basis.
All films are produced on a tight time schedule, within nine months- no time overrun and no cost overruns.
All films are shot on real locations-no artificial sets.
The film crews unless they are extremely senior artists, take train to locations and expect no five star hospitality or vanity vans.
Most of the investment is put into production.
All films are less than 120 minutes.
The direct sale to OTT platform eliminates the huge promotion and distribution cost enhancing the financial viability of the project.
They just produce films, own the IP of the content and are creating a pool of quality films – a perfect business model for a Venture Capitalist to step in.
Yoodlee, the way to go!!
O P Srivastava, a banker turned filmmaker, started his filmography in 2015 by producing a fiction film, ‘Missed Call’, which won 4 International Awards including selection as the opening film at IFFI 2006, Best International Film at Israel 2008 and represented India at Cinema du Monde, Cannes in 2007. His first feature documentary, Life in Metaphors, won the National Award for Best Biopic in 2015.
The CII-BCG Knowledge Report on future of the Indian Media & Entertainment industry, which was released at the recently concluded 2019 edition of CII Big Picture Summit, outlines some of the critical areas based on an extensive research, which can spark action as the industry looks to outpace its past success in the challenging times ahead
As Indian Media and Entertainment Industry has set the bar high on generating compelling content, creating new experiences for both their viewers and advertisers, it has led to the growth of trillion touchpoints along with the advertising dollars. But to ensure a steady rise in the Industry’s growth trajectory in future, the stakeholders will have to keep on raising the bar to meet the ever growing expectations and brace for challenges ahead, says a report prepared by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Confederation of Indian Industry.
Released at the recently held Big Picture Summit from November 14 to 15, the report titled ‘The Trillion (and Growing) Touchpoint Story-Recognizing the Monetization Conundrum says: “The coming year is truly pivotal for the industry as they seek to raise the bar once again in possibly challenging times ahead.”
The authors of the report applaud the achievements of the industry. “We are proud & delighted to say that the industry has come out with flying colors on the consumption front to maintain the growth momentum with our trillion touchpoints increasing steadily. The increasing monetization levels and growth of advertisement dollars are also strong testaments to the high levels of engagement between the industry and its stakeholders, the value being created,” they say.
However, they also caution that “we do need to be cognizant of the possible uncertainty up ahead in the coming days”. They go on to outline some of the critical areas “which can enhance the value disproportionately”. The report hopes that the insights provided by it would help “structure the imperatives and sparks action as we move towards a new tomorrow which is better than today
The report has been divided into four sections, giving useful insights into: consumption patterns, consumer engagement drivers and trends, advertising trends and key recommendations to take the industry forward.
According to the report, the consumption pattern present a positive picture as video continues to gain share within the digital pie; a favourable macro environment providing tailwinds that has been leveraged by the industry to fuel growth; steady growth of the trillion touchpoints especially with share of digital increasing; and a highly engaged set of consumers being witnessed.
“While traditional media is growing at a steady pace, digital media is driving overall growth with at a 16% CAGR over the past 2 years,” it says. Digital video consumption has increased from 11mins/day to 24mins/ day over the past 2 years. Over 2018, this has been driven by: 10-15% increase in numbers of sessions; 15-25% increase in average time per session, according to the report
AVERAGE DIGITAL VIDEO CONSUMPTION IN THE COUNTRY HAS INCREASED OVER TWO FOLD IN THE PAST TWO YEARS TO 24 MINUTES PER DAY FROM 11 MINUTES PER DAY. AN INCREASE OF 10-15 PER CENT IN THE NUMBER OF SESSIONS (HOURS PER DAY). CONSUMPTION GROW
Steps taken by industry, such as offering affordable plans, forging partnership to provide free content, large breadth of “relevant” content, and creating interesting ads on different platforms have also played a crucial role in increasing content consumption.
“The high levels of engagement are starting to address the issue of monetization which traditionally has been the proverbial elephant in the room. Consumers are increasingly looking to move beyond trials but the funnel flow is still small compared to the large scale investments being made by players to both acquire and retain consumers,” says the report.
However, the report goes on to add that the consumer research suggests that “the path being taken is the right one as users proclaim high stickiness and tendency to pay with the spend on media expected to follow the “lipstick effect” even in challenged environments”.
“Video viewing seems to be largely economy agnostic, and consumers are expected to increase spending in the near future,” the report notes.
When it comes to advertisers, the report says that they “understand and appreciate the manifold advantages – better targeting, lesser wastage, ability to drive brand building through interactive experiences, among others”.
But the report also points out that questions on effectiveness and efficacy still remain in the absence of transparent and verifiable data, as concerns are getting louder. “The advertisers do want to the industry to quickly fix some of the inherent issues like transparent measurement of ROMI (return on marketing investment).” Psychometric approach of targeting needs a deeper understanding of consumer behavior, which is facilitated through digital, it says. “Possible challenging environment ahead may impact status quo and lead to tough decisions,” the authors of the report caution.
The report calls for “deep introspection and high levels of innovation”, as the coming year will be a pivotal one for the industry which looks to balance the imperative of growth and helping translate the trillion (and growing) touchpoints into a more sustainable & value accretive proposition for all the stakeholders.
The M&E growth till now has been made possible by the embracement of disruptions like digital and increased internet usage and turning it to an advantage. “There has been a common agenda and cohesion of imperatives across all the stakeholders– broadcasters, publishers, media agencies, advertisers, regulators, government agencies, among others, to make this possible,” the report notes, adding that if the past is anything to go by then the industry will not only rise to the expectations but turn the adversity into an advantage.
INDIA HAS THE SECOND LARGEST BASE OF SMARTPHONES IN THE WORLD, SETTING UP A MASSIVE PLATFORM FOR DIGITAL VIDEO CONSUMPTION. MOREOVER, INDIA HAS WITNESSED A DRAMATIC REDUCTION IN DATA COST OVER THE PAST 2-3 YEARS. THIS IS LEADING TO HIGHER DATA USAGE — INDIA HAS THE HIGHEST PER-CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF DATA AT 9.8 GIGABYTES PER MONTH
Volumetric capture can record footage of a real person from various viewpoints, after which software analyzes, compresses, and recreates all the viewpoints of a fully volumetric 3D human, says Ravi Velhal
Developers and content creators use Intel hardware and software technologies to capture and process immersive digital assets for video games, virtual and augmented reality, holograms, film and other rapidly growing markets. Forecasters expect the volumetric video market to grow from $578 million in 2018 to nearly $2.8 billion by 20231. Read on to learn how Intel engages with film studios and innovative developers to bring volumetric video experiences to life.
TechCrunch explains that volumetric capture can record footage of a real person from various viewpoints, “after which software analyzes, compresses, and recreates all the viewpoints of a fully volumetric 3D human.” It can be described as “depth to point cloud from capture” or creating a point-cloud from frames. Volumetric video plays it back into video format.
Developers and content creators around the world see growing opportunities with this technology. Markets include architectural design, public safety, retail point-of-sale, gaming, mass-media entertainment, and many other exciting application areas.
Storytelling Meets Technology
At Cannes film festival Ravi’s keynote and panel session highlighted the power of production technologies to create multisensory immersive cinema experiences and Hollywood volumetric cinema productions. In the era of next-generation immersive cinema, storytelling and technology combine in a data-powered entertainment landscape.
Audiences respond strongly to the power of immersive cinema storytelling. You can see, hear, feel, experience and even smell that in the multisensory Intel collaboration, prelude to LeMusk by A.R. Rahman (double Oscar winner musician, composer, well-known for his hit film Slumdog Millionaire).Intel also collaborates on a growing number of exciting Hollywood productions, including SpiderMan: Homecoming VRE, Save Every Breath: Dunkirk VRE by Warner Bros., First Man: VRE by Universal Pictures, and SpiderMan: Far From Home multiplayer VRE over 5G at MWC 2019 and the summer blockbuster, SpiderMan: Far from Home VRE by Sony Pictures.
Intel Studios and “Grease” at 40
A key milestone in the transformation of Hollywood was on January 8, 2018. That day, Variety reported on the opening of Intel Studios, a dedicated volumetric video capture facility. The story summed everything up nicely by saying, “Intel wants to help Hollywood embrace the next generation of immersive media … essentially producing high-end holographic content…”
Intel Studios’ general manager Diego Prilusky and Randal Kleiser, the director of the 1978 iconic movie “Grease,” revealed at CES 2019 an exploratory, immersive teaser celebrating the film’s 40th anniversary. Growing up with Song and dance Bollywood influence , Ravi initiated Grease project with Randal Kleiser and Paramount Pictures. A little more than a year later, at the Cannes Film Festival/CannesXR 2019 event, Intel and Paramount Pictures released the five trillion pixel, full-volumetric experience based on a re-creation of the iconic song “You’re the One That I Want” for PCs and AR devices.
Advancing Data-Driven Storytelling with Sony Pictures Entertainment
In June 2018, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) launched Sony Innovation Studios in collaboration with Intel, Dell, and Deloitte Digital. Housed in a 7,000 square-foot sound stage on the Sony Pictures Studio lot in Culver City, Calif., the space features the latest in research and development in areas including volumetric video and customizable set scanning. Sony Innovation Studios works with engineers throughout Sony Corporation and pursues business development opportunities in motion pictures, television, music and gaming. Intel has teamed up with Sony Pictures to help expand the applications of Sony Innovation Studios beyond entertainment to other market segments. With Sony Innovation Studios, enterprises can leverage emerging technology to visualize real business solutions and solve problems within their industries.
Most recently, Intel teamed up Sony Pictures Virtual Reality to bring the Spider-Man™: Far From Home Virtual Reality Experience. This experience gives players the chance to select their favorite Spider-Man suit, and, for the first time, swing high above New York City. The short VR gaming experience was developed by CreateVR using Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. In addition to the VR experience, Intel worked with Sony Innovation Studios to capture Tony Stark’s jet with volumetric technology using a point cloud system and processed using Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Watch the Behind the Screens video about the making of the VR experience and a sneak peek into Tony Stark’s volumetric scanned jet.
Humanizing the Digital World
As glamorous as our work with Hollywood studios and world-famous directors may sound, some of the greatest value comes from developers and technology innovators like Underminer Studios.
Underminer’s Volumation product uses cost-effective technology to capture, optimize, and perform post-production clean-up in one process, without a green screen. It can increase realism and immersion and lower the barriers of accessibility and cost for 3D images of real humans or objects in motion.
Volumation was introduced at SIGGRAPH 2018 by Alex Porter, CEO of Underminer Studios. She described the opportunity for real world assets, objects, and people to be put into digital formats, as “humanizing the digital world.”
After a few initial designs, the rig for the Volumation demo at SIGGRAPH included 26 Grove* UP* boards and 128 cameras. Technologies used included Intel® NUC™ PCs, HTC* Vive* VR, Intel® Optane™ memory/storage, Google* ARCore* AR, Unity* real-time 3D, Intel® networking, Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel® GPA), and of course, it all ran on Intel® CPUs.
Capture the Opportunity
Intel works with leading companies to ensure the creative software you rely on performs at its best, so you can get through production work faster and have more time to develop your next great idea. Get practical ideas on ways to adopt immersive technology for a range of markets at the Intel® Developer Zone/VR.
Ravindra aka Ravi Velhal leads Digital Media Standards, Technologies and Immersive Cinema programs globally at Intel.
As a Cinema Virtual Reality Experience (VRE) pioneer, he co-produced Le Musk multi-sensory VR by A.R. Rahman, Save Every Breathe: Dunkirk VRE with Warner Bros, FIRST MAN: VRE with Universal Pictures and RYOT, directed Rio Carnival 2018 VRE with GloboTV, collaborated with Sony Pictures on SpiderMan: Home Coming VRE which was nominated for prestigious Emmy, and he recently launched Innovation Studios with Sony Pictures. At Mobile World Congress in Feb 2019, he collaborated with Sony Pictures to launch SpiderMan: Far From Home, the world’s first multiplayer VRE gaming experience over 5G. His focus is to drive future immersive cinema, including future media formats. Ravi is recipient of Hollywood’s prestigious Lumiere award, Infinity Film Festival of Beverly Hills Audience Choice Award. Ravi holds several global patents, and he has served as a director on the AIS/VR Society board, and an advisor to film and trade organizations, globally.
The speed and magnitude of disruptive change that digital video is generating is resulting in the need for broadcasters, telcos and cable companies to evolve their business models rapidly and at scale, says an Accenture study.
Accenture’s Intelligent Operations research reveals that as digital disruption continues to create both challenges and new opportunities, brands are making changes to their legacy operating models, technologies and processes.
However, two-thirds of marketers see lack of long-term investment as an obstacle and a similar percentage say fear of change is holding their company back. According to the Accenture study, how to transform their marketing models is a top priority for most companies and CMOs are recognizing the need to make investments and changes in their organizations.
The research claims 95 per cent of companies globally say they are investing in structure, people, processes and tools to boost their digital maturity. States Nikki Mendonça, president of intelligent marketing operations at Accenture, “CMOs are now implementing a much more data-driven approach to marketing to ensure all activity delivers against business-performance metrics.”
After years of radical fluctuation, the media and entertainment industry is finally becoming more stable, says Accenture, adding: “It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ digital transformation will happen; the question is how companies will respond. Leveraging the opportunities presented by digital video, new players are entering the market, capturing consumers’ imaginations—and their wallets. Across the content value chain, aggressive commercial bets are being placed on new business models, acquisitions, partnerships and services.”
The window of opportunity for the leading players to secure their position is narrowing and decisions need to be made rapidly. To compete in this new ecosystem, new digital-based business strategies and associated capabilities are essential. Broadcasters, telcos and cable companies that hesitate now may spend years trying to catch up, it says.
And here are some recommendations from the tech major.
* Moving from a silo-based architecture and process landscape to a horizontal approach supported by common services and infrastructure.
* Collecting data and leveraging analytics can empower organizations to build B2C relationships across all digital channels.
* As IT becomes more pervasive across core business processes than ever before there are clear benefits of positioning IT to take charge of the digital journey.
* In a hybrid world where legacy video services coexist with IP-based video services, companies must operate with broadcast availability and broadband flexibility.
Digital transformation is happening and competition is increasing. Broadcasters, telcos and cable companies need digital-based business strategies and associated capabilities. The time to start is now. Standing on the sidelines is not an option. For, individual business models are being replaced by a complex ecosystem of industry participants from new startups to super platforms.